T O R O N T O // C A N A D A

I've been to Canada a few times - to Quebec a few years ago along within the mountains in North Ontario - and have always been so impressed with their country - the people there are unbeatable at being nice and the cities are always beautiful and clean. I truly believe everyone should travel to Toronto at least once in your life, to experience how pretty it is yourself. Canada has so much to offer, and Toronto was the perfect place to enjoy a large city with friendly people, eventful nightlight, and delicious food! 

Affordable Christmas Gift Idea - Homemade Organic Deodorant


With the holidays just around the corner people are starting to panic at the (disco! lol no,) the idea of finding the perfect gift and at a reasonable price. Well if they are anything like me, and adore natural, organic, chemical-free, and cruelty free beauty products, then you will love this new budget friendly beauty diy! It's perfect for crafting a gift that you can customize for your friends and loved ones favorite scents. I have a few people on my list who are going to get stockings filled with customized beauty products, hehe! 😉

M T. S T E R L I N G // M I S S O U R I

Hi Ya'll! I'm so excited for this post because I get to share with you my time in Missouri! For every Thanksgiving Nick and his family come down to the family farm to gather and spend the holiday together. I wanted to show you how beautiful it is here, and what we did on "cabin time" and I mean just how BREATH TAKING it is here, ugh 😍

Gift Guide For Him Under $50

It's almost the holidays guys!! I'm getting so excited to shop for family and friends this year because there are so many great deals! A few weeks back I posted a Gift Guide For Girls Under $50, and everyone loved it so much that it only made sense to provide an option for the men in all of our lives! This week I'm heading to Missouri to spend time with Nick and his family on their farm. It's going to be so nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the Windy City. Here are my top 10 gifts for men under $50 ☺

M A N H A T T A N // N E W Y O R K C I T Y

Welcome to New York! As Taylor Swift once said "its a new sound track that I can dance to forever more". 

OK lets be real guys. Wanna know how I got this super cool picture with NO ONE in it? Yes, I am good with photoshop but not that good haha! Nick and I are the real deal here. We had woken up at FIVE O CLOCK. Yes. That early to get to the bridge at sunrise (6:30 AM) when no one is around. Needless to say I've finally checked off "be a morning person" from my bucket list. lol.

Basil & Garlic Tomato Bisque

Growing up I used to eat garlic topinky like crazy. I'm a lover of all things garlic! Garlic soup, garlic butter, garlic lemon pasta, you name it! Fun fact, every time I had a sore throat, I would nibble on some raw garlic - the potency naturally relieves your throat! But for this we need the garlic to rub on the bread, to make a traditional Czech garlic bread, Topinky, to accompany our tomato basil bisque!

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Gift Guide For Her Under $50

Hi everyone! Happy November! I'm so excited for this month because I'll be traveling often and it'll be my birthday soon too, yay! This week I'm heading to New York City for a quick weekend retreat with Nick and we're coming back just before my birthday on Sunday (11/11)! We're then hosting our lovely friends for a birthday celebration at our place and will be decorating for the holidays, because I'm crazy about Christmas 😃 and whats better than starting off a "Gift Guide" series for this seasons hoidays?! I'm planning on doing a bunch of different "Gift Guides" for different budgets, and types of people, so let me know what you all are looking for down in the comments and I will do my best to find those ideas for you!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!! I'm keeping this blog post short and sweet today with the outfit I wore for our Halloween bar crawl in Chicago. Anyway, Nick and I are so excited to get trick-or-treaters for the first time so we bought FULL SIZE candy bars because we want all of the kids to think we are cool - hahah! You can take a look on how to make this costume below, it only took me 2 hours and $40 to make! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below 😃

xoxo Ashley

What I Wore To Work - October Issue

Sweater, similar here // White Pants // Boots // Handbag // Earrings, less expensive here

I hope everyone has had a wonderful October!! Mine was full of new experiences. Including branching out to new ideas like Pure Barre for exercising, and I LOVE it! I've made new foods, such as pumpkin bread - OMG Trader Joe's has the best gluten free pumpkin bread mix, ya gotta try it. I even picked up a new(ish) genre of books, British Literature - I have read British Lit before but I'm actually enjoying it now, haha! You can see all about that post here. And lastly, I made my very first DIY Halloween costume! I was so proud of how it came to look that I'm planning a post about it for Halloween day! Check back on Wednesday to see what I will be when I'm answering the door to cute little trick or treaters this year! 😄

xoxo Ashley

Feature Fridays...

Happy Friday everyone!! I wanted to introduce you to a new segment of mine called "Feature Fridays". I will feature all of this years trends for fashion, beauty, foodies every Friday to keep everyone up to date! I hope you like this weeks feature - its all about this years trends, patterns, and styles! Brown, orange, and neutral Earthy tones and textures have been a hit so far this Autumn, and I can see the upcoming months into Winter the hues will turn more into whites, greys, and creams with touches of earthy patterns!

What I'm Reading Lately...

Happy hump day everyone! I'm so excited to say that I am picking up a few new British literature books to read for the next two weeks. One of my best friends lives in Germany, going to Uni, and has to read the following books for her classes, and if ya'll know me then you know that I looooooove school and so I'm reading them with her! It's kind of like a overseas bookclub! 😃 Well let me know if you guys have read any of these and what you thought about them! 

Paleo & Whole30 Sweet Potato Chili

Hi Ya'll, happy Friday! Todays post is about my famous Paleo Chili Stew - I love chili but it can be so heavy and full of sugar that I had to modify it for my liking. This is actually the first paleo recipes I ever created and is now a staple in my fall/winter diet. Anyone that knows me will say I cook healthy, and affordable meals and this one cost me less than $30, and can be consumed for the whole week! 

Cashmere Wrap for Fall

White Long Sleeve Top // Jeans // Tassel Wrap - mine is sold out EVERYWHERE! As soon as I find it, I'll post it for you all! // Ankle Booties // Name Necklace // Watch // Silver Ring // Rose Gold Ring // Handbag less expensive here

Sweater weather is offically upon us here in Chicago!! I know it's only the beginning but I'm already counting down the days until Chicago starts to see more 50 degree days! You'll catch me in pure glee when I can put on my new city coat from J Crew! Eek! BTW if you're totally interested in seeing more of Poshmark (or any of my outfits for sale!), click here and you can go straight to my closet. I thrift and search outfits I've seen on other bloggers (my originals are also included!) and sell them at a discounted price through my closet! Go check it out :)

Pink Himalayan Salt & Grapefruit Soap

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! I have another fun DIY for you guys that I actually made for my mom as a gift for her birthday. This easy 3-ingredient DIY melt and pour soap is made with skin nourishing shea butter and exfoliating Himalayan salt. 

It's always hard to find something for my mom as a gift (she can picky!), but I know she loooves anything pink, shiny, and something useful. So I figured a homemade soap infused with pink crystals would be perfect! The best part, it only cost me $40! I just love finding budget friendly gift ideas ya'll!

Lavender Hues for Autumn

Good morning everyone! Today I wanted to show ya'll one of my favorite outfit combos to wear for a bright sunny Autumn day. This sweater is the perfect lavender hue that's in all stores for this years fall trends! I bought mine from Old Navy for $30!

Saying Goodbye to Summer Styles...

I know I'm a bit late in the "Goodbye Summer" bandwagon but Chicago had it's very last 80 degree day and I wanted to take this chance to say a proper goodbye, with a frilly skirt of course! Everyone who knows me will tell you my favorite time of year is fall, and that's 115% true! However I typically wear summer colors allllllll year long, and this year I have decided that I'm going to try to break that habit. 

Let Me Tell You A Little Something...

I've been out of college for a little over a year, and now I'm in the world of numbers and spreadsheets, accounting that is! I used to be in merchandising/purchasing industry and loved every minute of it! Buying is a lot like being the best gift shopper - you're essentially shopping for what is trendy for your friends to have an amazing product for a small price in happiness and glee!

Although I love my job, I decided to start this blog because I felt like something was missing. I needed an outlet to share all things real!

Life, because no one has a picturesque life lets be real! For example, I have anxiety that can rise and fall in an instance. What makes me anxious? Graduating college for one - I didn't want to leave my "childhood" to have a life of constant repetition of "eat, sleep, work". My goal in life is to avoid that black hole and figure a way to live a balanced happy and healthy life in this crazy world of ours and I hope this blog will pave the path for me, and you, some day!

Good Food, we all want to jump on that Whole30, Paleo, Keto, or Mediterranean diet but how do we start? I'll be here to help you with some delicious recipes! I'm allllll about the sugar free, all natural, even gluten free foods - with the exception of baked goods, cause you need those sugar sweets once in a while, hah!

A Little Fashion, I was once told by a high school class mate that I always looked so dolled up and dressed so nicely, and I was taken back by her kind words. That's what sparked the start of my college career into fashion. Here on Mon Chat, Cacahuete I express myself through my clothing and I want to show you all how you can do it on a budget, cause this girl has student loan debt that ain't here to party, lol.

And A Lot Of Adventure, my moto in life is "have no what if's" If I want to go on a spontaneous camping trip to Canada I'll do it, or if I want to go to New York City for a weekend to eat some damn good pizza (New York Style is the way to go!), lets hop on the next flight. Because you only do live once, and I want to live my best life possible.

That's where this blog will take you.
xoxo Ashley

The Perfect Transition Sweater for Fall!

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Sweater // Bralette // Jeans // Booties similar here // Earrings (old) but similar here // Handbag (mine is a knockoff Kate Spade) similar here

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte...

Tis the season to be basic! PSA for every pumpkin spice lover out there - you can buy your own Starbucks PSL packs now - pick them up at any Starbucks store! On another note, my goodness guys, if you're a lover of all things pumpkin spice, then keep reading because have you ever tried a pumpkin spice chai latte?! They are delicious! I had it for the first time this season and you can bet that it's what I'll be drinking from now on. Ek! It combines all of my favorite smells, and tastes - cinnamon, pumpkin, chai, MMM!

5 Ways to Get in the Halloween Spirit

Mock Turtleneck Sweater // Vest //  Ripped Jeans // Booties - mine are sold out but from JustFab! // Backpack - mine is old but here is a similar one

Good morning, everyone! I really wanted to talk today about Halloween things and what I have done, worn, watched or read lately that are perfect to get into the spirit. I love preparing for it and the cooler weather, so here are some of my favorite things to do to get ready for Halloween.

1. Home Decor all the way! My biggest weakness aside from clothing is home decor. I have a problem... but dont want to do anything about it haha. I have about 35 mugs that Nick reminds me of every time I see a new cute pumpkin or fall leaf patterned mug at Home Goods or Target, but that doesn't stop me from buying it and adding it to our coffee nook.... hehehe! Look, I'm already getting into the mischievous mood of Halloween, YAS! But seriously, layering some orange and yellow leaves on the television mantle, placing "sweater weather" candles around the house, and even fluffing up pillows with cute sayings such as "Happy Fall Ya'll" or with little pumpkins everywhere get me SO EXCITED GUYS OMG.

2. Dress the part! I loooooove cooler weather because it calls for sweaters, boots, and scarves and layering is my all time fave thing to do. The pictures above are of one of my favorite outfits this season - consisting of layers, layers, and more layering! Also, I'm so excited for this Halloween because I'm creating my costume this year and I'm going to be a Starbucks drink. Isn't that just the cutest idea?! I don't know if I want to be a typical latte or a Pumpkin Spice latte, what do you think #BasicRight??

3. If you didn't already know, Stranger Things is out on Netflix. It's an absolute must-see if you haven't already. It's a Netflix original with two seasons (season 3 coming soon!), which you can binge watch in a couple days (kinda what we did, hah!). The series is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s and focuses on the investigation into the supernatural disappearance of a young boy. I love this show so much not only because the entire cast are phenomenal actors but they are such kindhearted people in real life. 

4. Watch a classic movie like Halloween, or if you want to get more modern watch IT - that scared the toots out of me! Fun fact (that's also super embarrassing) I had to put earphones in during the movie cause I got so spooked I couldn't even listen to the cinema's music! It's a classic thriller though, I would highly recommend this movie if you're trying for a real good time spook. 

5. Read, read, read! What better way to get in the season of all things spooky than reading a good thriller!? I mentioned IT above for a movie because Stephen King is literal KING of all things scary. His book "The Shining" is the next best (and most well known) book/movie. The Shining is about a man, his son, and wife who become caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining". The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel's ghosts. After being convinced by a waiter's ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is "The Shining". If you like to get psychologically thrilled then this is the book for you! 

If you have any favorite books/movies or seasonal home decor feel free to leave them in the comments, I'd love to see what you think!

xoxo ashley

What I Wore to Work - September's Issue

Hi darlings! I've been asked by many people to publish a "WTW" - Wear To Work article for quite some time and I felt this need is vital for the upcoming fall season. I'm so stoked for crisp air and leaves changing colors that I started to shop for A/W clothing in August! Pretty much everything I have bought for my fall wardrobe has come from Poshmark, this amazing social platform where you can buy and sell gently used to brand new items at a discounted price! I'm only a year out of college so I'm new into the world of "working class gal" and as much as I absolutely love (empathize on LOOOOOVE) the outfits our fellow blogger idols wear, I can't always pay for the retail price.

So I took it upon myself to find these exact pieces on other shopping platforms such as Poshmark or even Ebay - I recently found a pair of Sam Edelman knee high boots, seen on many bloggers last season, that retail for $250 and I paid - get this - $20 for the exact pair! No scratches, no wear on soles, nada. Practically brand stinkin' new girlfriend, it even came in its original box! My goal is to research and find whats trendy for the season (or last years!) and sell on my poshmark to you beautiful people and all your friends! I know first hand how much the struggle is after college, and just in general hah, but I got you girlies! I'm here to save that extra cash to use towards more avocado toast, and greek yogurt smoothies.

I've posted below what I've worn for the month of September, be it cooler days or warmer - there's a mix of it all this month haha. There's also links to what I bought, where I bought it, and where you can get it for your budget, cause ya home girl doesn't want you to break the bank! :)

If you find something similar or just such a good deal please let me know, I love hearing about your shopping wins! Enjoy the weekend!

French Connection Sweater discounted here similar here // White Pants similar here // Sole Society Leopard Mules similar here

TopShop Scalloped Skirt also here & here // Sweater // Boots similar here

Sweater // Bralette // Jeans // Booties similar here // Earrings (old) but similar here // Handbag (mine is a knockoff Kate Spade) similar here

Pink Blazer (mine is old) similar here // Pink Pants similar here // Pink shoes similar here // White Top (old) similar here $13!! // Handbag (mine is a knockoff Kate Spade) similar here $85!!

Mine is old but here is a similar top // Pants // Sandals // Name Necklace // Drop Necklace // Letter Necklace // Watch // Silver Ring // Rose Gold Ring // Handbag less expensive here 

Missguided Over The Shoulder Sweater // White Pants, discounted here // Ankle Booties // Earrings - mine were a gift but similar here and here // Wool Hat // Douney & Bourke Handbag, similar here

White Long Sleeve Top // Jeans // Tassel Wrap - mine is sold out EVERYWHERE! As soon as I find it, I'll post it for you all! // Ankle Booties // Name Necklace // Watch // Silver Ring // Rose Gold Ring // Handbag less expensive here

Goodnight Macaroon Over-Sized Sweater, mine is old but similar here // White Pants, discounted here // Ankle Booties // Earring, gift but similar here and here // Douney & Bourke Handbag, similar here 

xoxo Ashley 

The Perfect OTS Sweater for $22

One of my favorite off-the-shoulder sweaters, it fits TTS and is super high quality for its price. I bought two, one in black in S/M and this beige one in M/L and I would say if you want a looser, more baggy fit I would recommend the M/L size. I especially love the neutral/camel and white color combination for fall. This is a perfect outfit for walking down the lakeshore on a Sunday afternoon, or out for date night!

N A S H V I L L E // T E N N E S E E

I feel like Bilbo from The Hobbit right now, I’m going on an adventure! Ever gone somewhere you’ve never been, and alone? It’s invigorating, life changing even. I love it. I try to go somewhere new every year and so far this year has been Toronto, and now Nashville! Other than driving through and stopping for lunch when I was a kid, I have never really been to Nashville. Actually, I was quite excited to explore Tennessee by myself. My favorite thing to do in a new destination is find a café where I can eat pastries and write stories – I’m hoping to find little cafés where Americana and southern hospitality truly live.

Casual Friday At The Office

Mine is old but here is a similar top // Pants // Sandals // Name Necklace // Drop Necklace // Letter Necklace // Watch // Silver Ring // Rose Gold Ring // Handbag less expensive here 

Hi ya'll! This post is going to be short and sweet because I'm on my way to Nashville, TN for a quick weekend getaway - posts on that will be up shortly! I have never stayed in Nashville, but have driven through and stopped to eat while on a road trip with family haha, so this trip is quite exciting for me. I'm really looking forward to all the country music (basically my roots since my mom is obsessed), southern food, and most of all the scenery! I'm a total sucker for trees, mountains, and greenery all around, that's why I always go for that kind of background - like these pictures above! 

Blush Tones For Fall

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Pink Blazer (mine is old) similar here // Pink Pants similar here // Pink shoes similar here // White Top (old) similar here $13!! // Handbag (mine is a knockoff Kate Spade) similar here $85!!

Fall Home Decor - Affordable, Chic & Classic

Happy Monday everyone! Today's post has been brought to you by pumpkin spice lattes otherwise this post would not be up, hah! This weekend has been quite productive with fall shopping, and DIYing so many many many cups of PSL's were in need. Coffee is life, am I right!? Anyway, If you didn't catch last weeks post on how we made the raw edge accent table and the side table you can go check it out here, otherwise keep reading to see how our coffee table DIY turned out and what my top picks from fall shopping are!

DIY Ideas For Your Home

S T. P E T E // F L O R I D A

This weekend Nick and I flew down to St. Petersburg, FL to visit my grandmother and it was so much fun! I adore my grandmother so much and bless her for passing her good looks down to me, heya! Anyway we've done some cute things while here, I took Nick to some places I would go during my childhood. It's exhilarating to show the man I love where I hung out after school or even where I went to high school haha - he grew up near Chicago so the scenery is MUCH different here in Florida! Well I took it upon myself to write a quick post for you all of what I think is great to bring on a short weekend to the Gulf.

Books to Read this Autumn...

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Hi my Lovlies! This week I wanted to share some of my go to faaaaavorite reads for the upcoming autumn weather. I just love waking up to snow falling and sitting by a fireplace drinking a cuppa all snuggled up with a book, ek! Love it.

S T A R V E D R O C K // I L L I N O I S

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Happy Monday, mes chéris! 🌻 Finally starting to feel like spring in Chicago with warm sunny days mean tons of flowers and even more people promenading around the lake and parks. Since Nick and I live right in the busiest part of town, I decided to surprise him with a weekend getaway from all this hustle and bustle! Right out of town is Starved Rock State Park; it’s only 2 hours west of the city, with a full campground that embodies the true tent camping experience! Nick and I had a wonderful time camping here, it wasn't our first time but rather our second time camping at Starved Rock, and we're already planning our next getaway!

Lifestyle Dieting With Whole30

Bonjour, It's finally SPRING mes chéries! 

I hope everyone’s weekend was full of light and laughter.🌻

Don't you just love spring with her bright vivid flowers, and the moody weather? Nothing beats the beauty of nature! And come spring also comes the cleaning sessions, am I right? Nick and I were busy bees this weekend - we finally received our furniture, and our little home is coming together! I’ll post up some pictures once we finalize all the artwork being hung up. 

Today will be a shorter article as I want to talk about lifestyle dieting. Lifestyle dieting is defined as Clean, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Primal and Mediterranean. People normally don’t look at these as “diets” rather they look at them as a way of life, hence the term lifestyle dieting.

Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta - Organic On A Budget!

Bonjour, mes chéris! Monday again, oh what fun will this week bring upon us!? Over the weekend I got to relive my middle school years by going to an alternative concert with the line up being The Devil Wears Prada, Falling In Reverse, Papa Roach, & A Day To Remember (AD2R)! I fangirled so hard when Jeremy McKinnon, lead singer for AD2R, came on stage. I went through a phase in my younger years where I was a “Scene” kid and basically lived my life listening to these bands all day long – LOL. On Sunday however I came back to reality and had a craving for cooking up something organic and yummy for my friends that Nick and I have been staying with. Guys, we only have ONE more day until we get to move into our amazing new apartment! I am so stoked!! I have appreciated and loved staying with our friends so much that I wanted to thank them by cooking up some scrumptious food so last night I made Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta. This recipe was the perfect meal for our sunny Sunday we had in Chicago, it is light and refreshing and will most definitely fill you up without making you feel like you ate your weight in pasta!

How To Eat Organic On A Budget!

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Bonjour chéris, happy Friday! The weekend is just but an arm’s reach away… so close I can taste it… the cheese on sample at Whole Foods Market that is! Today I want to talk about the big question on food lately; “Is it really possible to buy healthy organic foods on a budget?” the short answer is yes, yes you can but someone can tell you that and it doesn’t mean you believe them without factual evidence, am I right? Well look no further – I know, cheesy – I’m here to prove that to you! 

What I Eat In A Day

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Hi darlings! The other day my boyfriend, Nick, told me that his friends said I should start writing about what I eat and the nutritious facts that go into it all since "I know so much about healthy foods", and what I've noticed lately is that bloggers are writing about what they eat in a day per their followers requests. I figured I would get into that too! My daily routine consists of waking up at 5:00 AM to turn on the Keurig and start brewing a delicious roast of Starbucks Pike Place coffee.

Hello Darlings!

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Hi everyone!! My name is Ashley Kelley. I'm an adventurous, girly, goofy, outdoorsy kind of woman and I'm so exhilarated to finally have my voice out here! First days always seem to be the scariest for me. In college, every semester we had similar faces and unfamiliar faces and in order to get to know one another we liked to play a little game called "Break the Ice". I'll start by telling you a few cool facts about me!